[OS X TeX] Crossrefs in BibDesk?

Curtis Clifton curt.clifton at mac.com
Wed May 18 18:13:58 CEST 2005

On May 18, 2005, at 9:26 AM, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:

>> (or what it should do, for that matter.).
> We are confused about that as well :).  I'm curious as to what 
> advantage (real or perceived) crossrefs have over filling out all 
> fields of an entry.

Imagine that you need to put 6 different papers from a conference 
proceedings in your bib file.  With cross references you can create a 
single entry carrying all the general information for the proceedings 
(conference name, location, month, year, publisher, series, volume, 
number, editor, ...).  Then the entries for each paper only need the 
paper title, authors, page numbers, and the cross-reference.  This can 
be a significant savings in data entry.  This was especially true 
before BibDesk came along with its automatic completion of entries.  
Another advantage is that a data entry mistake in something like the 
name of the conference only needs to be corrected in one place, instead 
of 6.

It seems to me that if an entry has a cross reference, then the data in 
the referenced entry should appear in the editing window for the 
referencing entry but shouldn't be editable there.  Perhaps a small 
arrow icon could appear next to the non-editable field.  Clicking this 
icon would open the referenced entry for editing.  Maybe dragging one 
entry onto the edit window for another could be used to establish a 
cross reference.  Searches should show the entries that would match if 
the cross-referenced data were in-lined.

I don't know the precise semantics of cross references.  For example, 
what happens if an entry contains a booktitle, but also has a cross 
reference to a book entry?  Does BibTeX use the booktitle from the 
original entry, or does it use the title from the cross-referenced 

Per Matthias's comment about sort order:  Since cross-references make 
the dependencies explicit, it would be feasible to automatically sort 
so that referenced items appear after referencing items (assuming no 
cycles in the referencing graph).


Curtis Clifton, PhD Candidate
Dept. of Computer Science, Iowa State University

--------------------- Info ---------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
           & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>

More information about the macostex-archives mailing list